Mellissa Fung free[video:youtube:goSQuxkfKwU] Mellissa Fung, a 35 year old journalist with CBC, who was kidnapped in Kabul four weeks ago was released today. She says she was kept in a cave for the first three weeks,
“They kept me blindfolded, but not the whole time,” she said. “They chained me. . . . Just my hands and legs for the first three weeks.” “Finally last night around 8:30 p.m. local we . . . successfully raided a house and rescued Ms. Mellisa Fung who works for CBC of Canada. The raid was conducted in one of the villages of Maidan Wardak province,” Intelligence Agency spokesman, Saeed Ansari, said Sunday. link
According to my sources, the kidnap had been reported in the Afghan press on the day it happened. However, western news outlets held a meeting in Kabul and agreed to a news blackout. The thought being the less publicity the safer it would be for Fung,
[John Cruickshank, publisher of CBC news] said CBC had asked other news outlets to refrain from publishing news of her abduction based on the advice of security experts. “I can say however say that it’s unlikely that I’d be briefing you today with this delightful news of Mellissa’s safe release if it had not been for the cooperation of news organizations around the world,” he said. link
We learned of the kidnap here at From the Frontline some four weeks ago, but also chose not to publicize it out of respect for the opinion of the people on the ground. However, this does bring to the surface the question about which kidnaps are reported and which are not.
The kidnap of Mellissa Fung and, earlier this year, of Frontline Club regular and Channel 4 Dispatches reporter Sean Langan were both hushed up. Both reporters are on the staff of large media outlets. Maybe it’s just perception, but aid workers and freelance journalists like Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan who were kidnapped in Somalia over 2 months ago, appear to get reported almost immediately. Is there one rule for staff at major media organisations and one for freelancers and aid workers?